Thursday, August 27, 2009

Microsoft Sketchflow – Excellent Presentation by Frank La Vigne


Almost since the start of the year majority of my software developments efforts have been in Microsoft Silverlight/ASP.NET MVC and jQuery.

When on 9th July Microsoft released Silverlight 3.0 alongwith Expression Blend 3.0, I immediately downloaded the trial version. One new ‘tool’ released within blend was ‘SketchFlow’.

Yesterday I attended the CAPAREA.NET presentation on MS SketchFlow by Frank La Vigne, which was a fantastic introduction for a developer mindset person like me to the designer world of presentation UI with the help of Sketchflow.

The attendance was in single digits, but the enthusiasm and humour filled delivery drove to the point the excellent capabilities of MS Sketchflow, which I believe now is the holy grail for Developers to use for building ‘Mock’ Prototypes.

Glad I could attend. You can find the presentation slides by visiting Franks website

Thanks to CAPAREA.NET for arranging back to back presentations on two consecutive days by Steve Michelotti and Frank La Vigne.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kandhasamy – Meets Expectations.


A couple of years back, I had received an email forward mentioning that if all the ‘corrupt’ money deposited in Swiss banks by Indians is returned back to the country, than India will be the richest country in the world. I did not take this email seriously because of so called procedures which are more or less determined to protect the bank customer.

Ever since the initial launch of this Susi Ganesan movie was announced, I was eagerly awaiting to watch this movie. But multiple delays and a long wait, the expectations from this Chiyaan movie after the debacle of Bheema was not sky high but hopefully it should be worth the ticket price.

Yesterday I watched the premier show of the movie in Loehmann’s Theatre Fairfax VA and was entertained. There were only a handful of movie goers for the show and the price of the ticket an exhorbitant 18 USD per head, I wondered whether there would be a surprise visit by the Celebrities of the movie. :-)

When you make a movie about current times you always run into the risk of entering a stale issue. I always wondered what kind of issue was being raked up by this movie so that it stands out the test of the time.

Over the years an actor ‘Chiyaan’ Vikram has been competing in the mutiple ‘getup’ arena with Kamal, Rajni, Ajit et. al. It would seem Vikram prefers action over acting, commercial over content.

When the movie started with a silly make up as a ‘SuperHero’ Kandhasamy and cooka-a-cooku dance by Vikram trying to really seem funny rather than fearful to the villan, (may be targeting towards the kids) it seemed a bit odd at that time. And the Phantom punch with a indelible mark leftover on the cheek. Eeekkkkk….

As the movie progressed steady with introduction of Vikram (who looked surprisingly young and handsome), Ashish Vidharthi, Shriya, Vadivelu the movie picked up steam and kept up the attention of the viewer.

At intermission it seems it would be a revenge saga, but post interval the movie takes a little bit of dip in mexico (pun unintended) and comes back to the steady height of entertainment and moral intent behind the ‘Robinhood’ actions.

One of the key questions asked in the movie was ‘Why should you overpay for the services !?’.

It was a paisa vasool movie with catchy music, decent choreography, good acting by Vikram, Ashish Vidharthi.

Very few movies in the recent memory has stayed back in the hangover the day after, this is one such movie. The questioning style of Vikram to Shriya in their very first encounter, Vadivelu’s bath dance in the Water Treatment scene are memorable.

Vikram dressing up as Aishwarya and dancing to the tune of ‘Dola Rey…’ was very nicely picturized.

BTW if you can watch it with kids and not squirm in your seat, it is a good movie by my standards and Kandhasamy meets expectations.

As a critic we can mention ‘soft editing’ which loosens the pace of the movie a bit and lot of Glaring Bright Flashes and camera angles which are a bit distracting.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Is it not Obvious ?


“The irony of mastering something difficult is once its mastered it no longer remains difficult.”

When it comes to problem solving like puzzles, even thinking outside the box still remains thinking within the problem or the solution domain.

Today I read a news saying General Motors is announcing Volt will give 230 mpg in City Driving. (See Link Here)

Just yesterday I read about what was the supposed reason for the huge spike in Oil Prices last year in 2008 summer. (Here)

So just remaining firmly within the context of this two I think obviously there is going to be more speculation about drop in Oil Demand which in turn will raise the prices to ensure the Oil Companies able to sustain their ‘profits’ and ‘investments’.

What Say !? Is it not Obvious ?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Twitter Trends


Whatever I know about human behavior is more or less based on what I have acquired by reading, analyzing and what I have experienced. One of the common pattern is unpredictability. Human behavior is accepted to be a direct result of what the person is thinking at that point in time and also it is based on previous thought jumps and previous experience of the person.

This is so hard and complex problem to have access to the data behind human thoughts and the result of the reaction to that thought in that instance for that person.

Our forefathers and every generation has always learnt by listening to others and by experience that it is very easy to ‘influence’ a individual, if we show some interest and attention to the individual. For some this works instantly and for other it takes some time. To influence a Mob, the science or factor’s are not much different. Even you must have heard of discoveries of Ponzi schemes eventually running out of time.

Essentially the unpredictability of human behavior in a way acts against the very crux of forming a society, but as we know there exists a social life and we as a social animal behave rather consistently with the expectations of the society. So this in my limited experience and knowledge interprets as ‘thinkers’ and the rest. You can say reactors, followers, advantage takers, critics, haters, indifferent etc etc.

Whenever I look at twitter trending topics I find that most twitterer’s are followers and yes people rather than reactors. The trend of twitter topics in general is very similar to Email Forwards and Spam Scams. There are a lot of specifics, but in whatever data I have seen and uncovered, it seems, twitter can be a tool in influencing human behavior once the thought put out by the individual is immediately acted upon. I wouldn’t be surprised that in future some autobot accounts will reacted individually to many individuals and influence genuine twitter user’s based on need/goal/aim of the ‘Big Brother’.

What Say !?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another Bundle Movie – Review – Love Aaj Kal


1986. 6th grade.

English Teacher to the class : “So how many of you have read “The Invisible Hat” ? Raise your hands”

Even though I had read I did not raise my hand. My classmate prompty stood up and said “Raghu already read it and says its Bundle.”

English Teacher : “What do you mean Bundle ?. Last week you said movie Naseeb was good. I saw it and seeing Hema Malini ride her bike over cars stunt, it was bundle”

Some words haunt you for life. The above is a true story.

Today :

Bundle is a colloquial used in Marathi lingo meaning “Its Idiotic”.

Anyways Last friday my wifey and I watched a hindi movie named ‘Love Aaj Kal’ whose songs I had grown to love in the last month or so. I can boost to know all the lyrics today. After a long time has any hindi album fascinated me with tune and lyrics.

About the movie, the lesser said the better. I have nothing but disappointment with the story, screen play, acting and choreography. The only saving grace is catchy music.

Great one liner’s do not make a great movie. An idea is never good enough, but complete only when its sold, executed and followed through in its entirety.

In the initial frames Director Imtiaz Ali builds up a promise to a different point of view of love and lovers, but ends up repeating the run of the mill formulae of lover’s discovering their love by absence so late that it totally disassociates the viewer from identifying themselves with the on screen characters.

The patent of Yashraj movies, Discovering Love in Absence by many characters aka discovering the importance of electricity during Load shedding is now a well known formulae to the movie goers and fails to create a impact.

Oneliners by Saif Ali Khan like “Hum Cake Khane Key Liye Kahin Bhi Jaa Sakthe Hain”  or “Either Hamaari Dosti Gehree Hain yaa yeh Photo 3D hain” or even “Ladke isiliye aage chalte hain kee Ladikyon ko Raah Dikha Sake” are refreshingly charming and memorable.

But one like “Main ekdum defective piece hoon, Jyaadaa der SAD nahin reh sakta” are all so made up and not meet the standards of SAK.

Deepika looks superbly good but still fails to mask her non acting ability. Listening to her say “Yeh Angle thoda alag hain” made me squirm. Yikes.

‘Harleen Kaur’ looked lost with a made up halo and looked too young for the role.

All In All One Bundle Movie with foot thumping music. Waste of my time.

What Say !?